The French Ministry of Interior has a new interception platform

By EDRi · June 6, 2007

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 2 May 2007 a new technical platform for the interception of traffic data
in all types of communication systems was discretly put into operation by
the French Ministry of Interior, covering communication data related to text
messages, mobile or Internet.

The security services are now in the position of knowing who has contacted
whom, when and where and, by a simple click, they can obtain from the
telephone operators the list of all calls from and to a subscriber. They can
obtain the subscription documents of the respective person with address and
bank information and can also require all the Internet sites or forum
addresses the respective person has accessed.

The authorised services may require such kind of information from Uclat
(Coordination unit of the anti-terror fight) that manages the technical
centre located in the new headquarters of the security services of the
national police of Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine), under the supervision
of IGPN (The General Inspection of the National Police).

This comes as a direct result of the Sarkozy law adopted on 23 January 2006
in an emergency procedure, to prevent terrorist acts, after being found
constitutional by the French Constitutional Council. The text of the law
states that Internet Service Providers, Internet cafes, hosting providers
and operators must communicate the traffic data, called numbers, IP
addresses to specialised services in case of investigations related to
suspect terrorist activities.

The law has created serious concerns to the public freedom advocates as well
as to the magistrates as the procedure doesn’t need the involvement of
judges and ignores guarantees related to public freedoms.

Since the entering into operation of the new technical platform on 2 May,
the centre has already dealt with 300 requests per week made mostly by DST
(Direction de la surveillance du territoire) and RG (Renseignement
Generaux). According to an estimation, the platform should be able to
address about 20 000 requests per year.

The French justice system is, in its turn, creating its own national
platform that will be finalised by the end of 2008 – beginning of 2009 to
intercept SMSs and record phonecalls, not only for terrorism cases. Although
France is not in the worst position in Europe as concerning data
interceptions being surpassed by Italy, the Netherlands or Germany, the
tendency is obviously towards an increase of the control by the authorities.

The anti-terrorism spies mails and text messages as well (only in French,

EDRI-gram: IRIS protest against delay French government (20.10.2004)

EDRI-gram: France adopts anti-terrorism law (18.01.2006)

EDRI-gram: French anti-terrorism law not anti-constitutional (2.02.2006)